Office Meal Program
At Chewse we believe eating together as a team is an important aspect of community building at the office because it allows for authentic connections to form. Dining together also creates a breeding ground for ideas to surface and cross-department engagement to take place. Plus, who doesn’t love free food?
As we like to say at Chewse, the best teams eat like family. Here are five hacks for building an office meal program before getting started.
ONE – I do not like green eggs and ham.
“I love having all these picky eaters on my team,” said no meal planner ever. We feel your pain, but no worries, managing food preferences, and dietary restrictions are our forte.
The simple solution is to create a questionnaire and send it out to everyone invited to dine at your company. Google forms are a great way to capture questionnaire data, and they are easy to create and share online.
We suggest including a multiple choice section where diners can check one or more of the following options: vegetarian, vegan, pescatarian, or other (ex: Kosher friendly). In the “other” option make sure you allow them the ability to write in what they need.
A question asking about food allergies is crucial, and you’ll want to make this a text box response type so that diners can share this information in detail if need be. Lastly, include a question about your diners’ favorite meal or food preferences. The response could be a favorite dish or a favorite type of cuisine.
Finding restaurants and caterers that can accommodate all of your company’s food preferences and dietary restrictions can be very challenging. Don’t panic; we can help! Our proprietary meal planning platform has an algorithm that takes into account your food preferences and dietary restrictions to curate meals from local restaurants that are best suited for your team.
TWO – It’s beginning to look a lot like Happy Hour.
Next comes the meal scheduling and occasion planning, which is the fun part! Keep in mind that these meal times could be the start of an awesome office tradition, that you’ll get all the credit for of course. At some point, the Lyft office began providing bagels to their team on Monday mornings, but now it has become an important tradition within their company.
Here’s where you should consider what times of the day make the most sense for a team meal. At Chewse we find it most efficient for our teams to have lunch at the office. Employees don’t have to travel far for their meal, there are no logistical issues with building access, and no last-minute hustle to order one-off meals for your team on special occasions.
Breakfast buffets and happy hour meals are another great way to fuel your teams for the day or show your appreciation for all of their hard work all week. You may also want to ask yourself, are there any company-wide or department-wide meetings each week that would be a good fit for a meal program? Maybe even holiday or company events that could be improved by the ease of office catering.
We work with vendors from all different cultures who specialize in a wide variety of cuisines and meal styles. Our meal planning team can also share some holidays and office meal occasions if you’re feeling low on inspiration, such as monthly birthday celebrations and potluck style happy hour Fridays.
THREE – Nobody puts baby in the corner.
It’s now time to consider your space. Do you have an area where you could set up a buffet style meal? Do you have tables and seating that allows your team to eat together?
Have no fear; this is an easy step. For an office meal program, all you need is one 8 inch table to set the food trays on and a standard lunch break room setup, with tables and chairs. For serving, It’s best to form two lines, one on either side of the table, allowing diners to move quickly through the buffet, serving themselves.
The food set up is easy. Start with the salads and dressings in the front, next, the fillers (rice, mashed plantains, noodles), then the proteins, and lastly, sauces and dips. Since hospitality is the root of our business, our hosts are available to facilitate all your meal deliveries, set up, meal serving, and clean up. Our hosts will even take your leftovers, package them up and deliver them to local shelters if you don’t want to keep them.
FOUR – Are you dressed for the occasion?
Time to asses how equipped you are for an office meal program. Do you have your own serving utensils? Do you have the proper dishware? Is there a kitchen or dishwasher on site?
Hopefully, we didn’t scare you away with those questions, because there is no need to worry about any of that with Chewse. With every hosted meal we provide your team with compostable plates, napkins and eating utensils, tray holders, serving utensils, table cloth, and Sterno flames to keep your food warm.
Lunchrooms can get messy, but we won’t let that happen on our watch! Our host will keep the serving area neat and will clean up the buffet table after each meal. One tip, If you don’t already have them, you may want to order the proper receptacles for compost and recycling as everything we provide your diners with is compostable.
FIVE – Chewse, take the wheel.
We hear you, planning a company event can be stressful, but an office meal program doesn’t have to be. It doesn’t take much to set up your meal program with Chewse.
You simply share with us your dietary restrictions and food preferences, work out the logistics with our meal team (occasions, times, delivery logistics, and the number of diners), and our platform does the rest. Our platform also integrates with slack and Google calendars so that you and your team always know what’s for lunch!
Worried your team will grow tired of the food? Don’t be. Chewse has an ordering algorithm engine that diversifies the menu for your staff, so they don’t get sick of our menu. We are also consistently adding new restaurant partners and items to our menu. It’s important to us that your team enjoys a variety of foods each week.
Now, pat yourself on the back, you’ve just set up a meal program!